BedandBreakfast.com recently surveyed both U.S. member innkeepers and inngoing travelers to gauge travel trends.
This quarter, over half of innkeepers saw an increase in reservations compared to the second quarter of last year. Half of innkeepers also expect their reservations for the third quarter to increase over the prior year, which is bolstered by the fact that only 6% of respondents have no leisure trips planned between now and September 30, 2010.
Our survey found that over half of travelers have booked a package at a B&B in the past, and half say they are more likely to book a property that offers packages. Nearly 40% of innkeepers report that they have seen an increase in reservations since adding packages. Our survey also found that close to all of the respondents would consider staying at a luxury B&B.
Our survey indicates that smart phone usage is low in regard to B&Bs. Very few travelers report using smart phones to find and book inns, and just a fifth innkeepers use smart phones to manage their business. We were pleased to find that the oil spill only affected less than 8% of travelers’ plans.
To view a report of all survey responses with graphics, click here for the innkeeper survey and click here for the consumer survey.
Over 570 U.S. member innkeepers took our survey covering the second quarter of the year (April-June 2010).
Around 56% of innkeepers have seen an increase in reservations compared to the second quarter of last year, with 20% of innkeepers seeing an increase of 20% or more. While 59% of innkeepers saw no change in reservations when they began offering packages online, our survey found that 39% did have an increase in sales by offering packages online. Technological or website limitation is the primary reason most innkeepers don’t offer packages online (32%), but many other factors come into play, such as no guest interest (21%), no package components available (22%), and innkeepers not wanting the extra work (25%). This chart shows the results:
While 77% of innkeepers with packages advertise the packages on their websites, 55% list their packages on BedandBreakfast.com and other B&B websites, 28% offer packages on other travel websites, 45% offer packages to telephone callers, and 14% offer packages after arrival at the inn.
It appears that smart phones are not being utilized by most innkeepers to help run the business. Only 33% of innkeepers have smart phones, and just 20% of innkeepers use a smart phone to enter booking engine reservations or another purpose for the B&B.
In addition to our quarterly innkeeper surveys, we also send regular polls to over 50,000 consumers on our mailing list, giving you a direct line into what's important to inngoers. Below are some of the replies received from over 4,900 respondents.
Our survey shows that travelers are receptive to packages. Nearly 56% of travelers report having booked a package at a B&B in the past, and just over 50% of travelers say they are more likely to book an inn if they offer packages. Most appealing are food packages, which 73% of respondents say they would be interested in. Activity packages appeal to 50% of travelers, romance packages interest nearly 31% of them.
We found that 30% of travelers have a smart phone. Only 11% of travelers report that they have used a smart phone to find an inn or make an online reservation.
Only 7.6% of consumers reported that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill affected their travel plans. Many of these consumers left comments expounding on this; some canceled existing bookings, but most of these consumers reported that they had been considering or tentatively planning going to the Gulf and decided to postpone the trip or go somewhere elsewhere once the spill happened.
Nearly 90% of travelers say they would consider staying at a luxury B&B. While 60% of consumers say they would only stay in a luxury B&B for special occasions, 40% of consumers would stay in one for a regular vacation. When asked to select why they would choose a luxury B&B, 71% said it would be for a special event like a honeymoon or anniversary, 24% said it would be because it’s in the budget so why not, and 36% said it’s because they like the extra amenities. When it comes to selecting a luxury B&B, the majority of travelers say reviews, a professional inspection, and the professionalism of the website are important. The majority of travelers consider price, value (included extras), photos, and location to be very important. Only 6% say that a professional inspection is not important.
By Emily Starbuck Crone